I’m starting the sequel to my novel today.
Okay, I started it once before, but it was a desultory false start. This time I just finished a full polish and revision of Obsidian and I’m hopeful it will sell soon. So I’ve gotten a running start and have all of the threads in my hands to continue weaving the story.
I feel hopeful, holding the seed in my hands.
Obsidian also began at this time of year, grown from the nugget of a dream. Actually, I’m still writing to that nugget since the storyline of Obsidian never made it to the scene I dreamed. At least, not the particular dream that got me started on that story.
I wish sometimes I knew more where I was going.
The romanceys make a big deal of asking whether you’re a “plotter” or a “pantster” — meaning do you plot out ahead of time or fly by the seat of your pants. Though I don’t like the term, I fall more into the pantster category. It doesn’t feel like flying, though, winging from one landing point to the next. Sometimes I suspect a plotter invented that term to describe the “other” kind of writer. It’s a term that conveys what they see as the precarious and dangerous undertaking of writing without a plan.
F. Scott Fitzgerald said that “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” That’s how it feels to me. I have an idea of where I’m going, which lake, what the water will be like, but I have to write the story to get to the other side. Sometimes I’m surprised where I end up. Sometimes I never make it to the other side, like happened with Obsidian.
In many ways it’s an act of trust. The cause is indecipherable. It can be frightening. And also glorious.
Holding my breath…